Vale do Javari: Bruno’s place of death and Dom has a history of violence – National

Houses in Vale do Javari, Amazonas
area where Dom and Bruno worked, Vale do Javari is home to the largest number of uncontacted peoples in the world (photo: João LAET / AFP)

The disappearance of the indigenist Bruno Pereira and the journalist Dom Phillips made, in recent days, the eyes of the world turn to crime in the Amazon. The outcome of the case, with the confession of one of the suspects and the location of the victims’ remains, is another chapter in the history of violence in the Vale do Javari region, in western Amazonas.

The region on the border with Peru is home to the largest number of uncontacted peoples in the world and has been the target of disputes by criminals trying to exploit natural resources. The indigenous land was demarcated in 2001 and, since then, has suffered from illegal activities.

Bruno Pereira, who was a licensed servant of the National Foundation for the Indian (Funai), was in the region precisely to support the Union of Indigenous Peoples of the Javari Valley (Univaja) in the fight against crime. There, he helped found a surveillance team. The approximately 20 indigenous people monitored the region and documented the findings. The members of this group have now collaborated in the search for the two.

Since 2018, Funai’s bases in the reserve have suffered from at least eight shootings, according to Indigenistas Associados, an association of Funai civil servants. In 2019, the Court ordered the federal government to provide more security to the region. In the same year, a Funai employee was murdered in the town of Tabatinga, a nearby indigenous land. Maxciel Pereira dos Santos was shot twice in the back of the head, after receiving several threats. To date, the investigation has not been completed and no suspects have been indicted.

Last year, Univaja produced a report that was delivered to the Federal Public Ministry of Tabatinga, in Amazonas, with reports of the increase in criminal invasions in the region. The newspaper The globe had access to the document, which even brings charges against Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, known as Pelado, who confessed to being involved in the murder of Bruno and Dom. In the report, it is said that he was fishing for flat fish and Pirarucu in the interior of the indigenous land near the Korubo village. According to the MPF, a procedure was set up to investigate the reports.


On the night of this Wednesday (15/6), the superintendent of the Federal Police of Amazonas, Eduardo Alexandre Fontes, informed that the investigations of the causes of death and the circumstances of the crime continue. “New arrests should occur at any time of the day,” he stressed.

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